A seagull on a sandy beach

Black-Headed Gull

The Black-Headed Gull is commonly spotted around the Hook peninsula and indeed all Irish coasts. Familiar as it may be, this small gull is now a Red-Listed species. Numbers are dropping and breeding colonies are more localised, with Wexford and Donegal having the largest coastal colonies. Its name is misleading as it doesn’t really have…

Shore Crab

A native to these shores (Carcinus maenas) is commonly found on beaches and in rock pools. They aren’t picky eaters and will feast on anything and everything that they come across including seaweed, molluscs and smaller crabs. It is normally a green colour but can sometimes be orange or red. Although a native to Europe…

Lugworms

The humble lugworm, used as bait for generations, is a common sight on sand and mud. Or rather their distinctive casings are since the lugworm itself seldom leaves it’s burrow. The burrow is a U-shaped tunnel that begins at a shallow depression, this is the head end of the lugworm from which the worm ingests…

Bright yellow bird perched in amongst some branches.

Yellowhammer

The yellowhammer is much less often seen these days as changes in agricultural practices have lead to it’s decline. The species is currently on the red conservation status in Ireland. This brightly coloured member of the bunting family can be found around arable fields especially this time of year in freshly harvested cereal fields as…

A Kestrel hovering against a blue sky

Kestrel

A Kestrel hangs poised and focused over the cliffs at Carnivan, waiting to pounce on its unsuspecting and unfortunate prey. A common sight around the coasts this bird of prey can usually be seen hovering in the sky looking for it’s lunch. It mainly eats small mammals but can also be seen eating insects, invertebrates…

A yellow butterfly on a yellow flower

Clouded Yellow Butterfly

Over the last couple of months the Clouded Yellow butterfly put on a good display around parts of the Hook Peninsula, especially Booley Bay. A visitor from Northern Africa, it visits mainly the South and East of Ireland. Its beautiful deep yellow colour is best seen when in flight, as it always rests with folded…

An orange butterfly with brown and white spots against a background of grey gravel.

Painted Lady

A migrant from North Africa the Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa cardui) is a regular visitor to these shores. They can be found mainly from June to September along the south and east coasts. The Painted Lady is one of the most widespread butterflies in the world and can be found on every continent except South…